E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Melica harfordii Bol.
Harford's melic (Harford's oniongrass)
Poaceae (Grass family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Adolf Ceska  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #20689)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Melica harfordii
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Species Information

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Perennial, strongly tufted grass from rhizomes, not bulbous-based; stems erect, wiry, sometimes solid, 40-100 (120) cm tall.
Sheaths usually closed to the tops, minutely rough to long stiff-hairy; blades rough (and often slightly soft-hairy) on the upper surfaces, usually smooth on the lower surfaces, finely-veined, 1-4 mm wide, flat to in-rolled, the base often short-hairy or somewhat stiff-hairy; ligules usually open in front, more or less fringed with fine hairs to sparsely hairy-fringed (the hairs sometimes as long as the membrane), finely rough-hairy, usually closed and projecting upward in front in broad, rounded to sharp-pointed, triangular teeth, 1-3 mm long.
Inflorescence a narrow panicle 10-20 cm long, the branches short, appressed; spikelets closely (2-) 3- to 6-flowered, 10-17 mm long; lower glumes 6-8 mm long, 5-nerved, the upper ones 8-10 mm long, 7-nerved; lemmas strongly fringed with fine hairs on the lower halves, especially along the margins, obscurely 9- to 11-nerved, rounded or with shallow notches at the tips, about 10 mm long, inconspicuously awned, usually with fragile awn tips 0.5-3 mm long; anthers (3) 4 mm long.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Dry slopes and open forests in the lowland zone; infrequent in SW BC; S to CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Melica harfordii

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 120 190 230
Slope Gradient (%) 70 91 105
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
240 249 260
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: CDF(3)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Melica harfordii var. minor Vasey

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References